“Sometimes, you just need a break. In a beautiful place. Alone. To figure everything out.”
The first time I saw that quote was somewhere on Instagram in August 2012, right before I decided to book myself on a week long yoga retreat in Bali. Slapping the $1800 on my credit card, it was exactly what I needed in that uncertain chapter of my life, to retreat, to pull back, to: figure everything out.
Today, I’m passionate about honouring this ebb and flow. It is an intention of mine to tune in daily to my own cycles for creativity and self care, in my business AND in my life. Sometimes, this means immersing myself in a project and working my arse off. Sometimes, this means pulling back, creating space, taking a break and retreating.
In fact, I’m actually giving myself the gift of space and time by taking the entire month of May off coaching to focus on creating my upcoming eCourse Wild, Well & Creative. It definitely feels scary/uncertain to take a whole month away from my biggest income source (!!!), but I know that I need a break from that in order to devote to bringing this new creation to life.
But let’s be honest here: We don’t always have the ability to take a whole month off work.
We don’t always have the finances, luxury and opportunity to choose to ‘take off’ for weeks at a time and meditate to our heart’s content in the hills of Ubud. Sometimes, but not always.
I was recently asked by a new reader named Bronwen (Hi Bronwen!) for some ideas on this topic, so today, I want to share a few tips with you on how to create your own mini retreat at home. This is something I try to do regularly – whether it’s a creative retreat (to get a body of work out), a cleansing retreat or for just pure relaxation and restoration.
Tips For Your DIY Retreat at Home:
+ Declare your dates!
Take a look at your schedule NOW and pick a couple of days (or more) to devote to your retreat. I did my most recent ‘restoration retreat’ on a Thursday and Friday, because during the weekends my house is much busier. You might find a weekend works better for you.
Then, block out the days you’ve chosen on your calendar and ensure you don’t have any appointments scheduled or potential commitments in that sacred time.
+ Decide on the ‘vibe’ of your retreat.
How do you want to feel before, during and after your retreat? Will this be a productive, creative retreat or simply nurturing and relaxing? What would you LOVE to do on your retreat? What would you love to NOT DO on your retreat?
What will you eat and drink? Will you be alone? With friends? Where would you love to go/not go?
I totally suggest creating a Pinterest board/mood board with magazine clippings that embodies the spirit of the experience you’ll be creating for yourself. This helps to declare it and gets epic manifestation momentum. Be indulgent here and tap into your ultimate desires. You are worthy of this!
+ Plan ahead.
There’s a big chance you’ll need to ask for help here. What support will you need to call in? Finding a babysitter? Blocking out your availability? Letting your partner know you’d like the house to yourself for a couple of days? Booking some accommodation somewhere? Hiring a cleaner for the days before or during your retreat – so you don’t have to lift a finger? 😉
What will you be eating and drinking? If you’ll be outsourcing this (such as a juice cleanse or organic meal delivery), book this now.
Also, will you need to save some money or devote some of your savings/wage to this experience? Carve out some time to do some solid planning now and you’ll have a much more enjoyable and relaxing retreat.
+ What will you need?
Looking back at ‘the vibe’ of your retreat, will you need to pre-order some books to read or watercolours to play with or new notepads to write on? How about some soy candles, body scrubs or essential oils?
+ When the retreat comes around…
I highly recommend switching off all technology if you can. I frequently have social media detoxes and I feel that at the very least, social media and email need to be off limits for the duration of your retreat.
However, if your retreat looks like a binge on Game Of Thrones or a YouTube fest of funny cat videos, then no stress! This is your retreat and there are no rules, besides the ones you create for yourself. Do consider my suggestion for social media though – this time is about YOU – we’re not interested in what your pals on Facebook are doing.
+ And then: Enjoy yourself, lovely.
Light a candle to signify the beginning of your retreat. Have a long bath. Crack a bottle of wine. Brew a pot of tea. Go to bed at 7pm. Whatever you need, just do it. This is a judgement-free zone.
There’s a big chance your Inner Critic might try to pop up with a heap of reasons why you shouldn’t be gifting yourself this experience, but just send her packing. Again, you are 100% worthy of this space. We are not built to be ‘Go! Go! Go!’ all the time.
Plus, your retreat is going to help shed whatever is holding you back from being the best partner/friend/Mum/sister/human being that you know you can be. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Remember: it’s perfectly OK and normal and natural and wonderful to stop for a moment and say…
I need a break. Alone. In a beautiful place. To figure everything out.
Give yourself that gift.
And I can’t wait to hear how you go! Maybe you could declare your retreat intention/vibe/dates in the comments… 🙂